The Lure ★★★½

A pastiche of “The Little Mermaid” by way of smoky cabaret-like clubs of a Warsaw in the 80’s, New Wave music videos, and the enticement of capitalist excess. It’s more grim Grimm than gentle Hans Christian Andersen – no swift and bloodless magic here, just buzzing grinding surgeon’s tools, human legs and mermaid tails on beds of ice – but the surgeon drunkenly dances and the mermaid sings until her voice wheezes dry, and I remember I always did prefer Grimm to Andersen anyway.

Does it add up to a fairy tale moral or even a thematically cohesive whole? I’m not sure it does, but it does fully commit to its individual scenes: visceral, sordid, crunchy, or sexy, and like the immersive quality of a vivid dream, its overall sensations linger.

SIFF 2016

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